Thursday, September 27, 2012
High School Pick: The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls
The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls
by Julie Schumacher
Forced into a mother-daughter book club, four very different girls have to spend time together. CeeCee would probably never talk to Adrienne or Jill, but because of a teeny tiny car accident, she’s being punished.
Adrienne feels as if she’s being punished by her mother. Her mother seems distant and argumentative. Adrienne has never known her father, and feels neglected by someone who’s never even seen her. When she tries to get answers out of her mother, her mother answers questions with other questions. Their household is entirely dysfunctional. Adrienne breaks a few rules and curfew, but she’s still a quiet girl with her head on straight. The same can’t be said for other members of the dysfunctional book club.
Wallis is an enigma to the other girls. She lives in the woods, but no one has ever been to her house. Her mother never attends the book club, and Wallis always has an excuse for her absence. The other mothers seem worried but it never occurs to them to investigate.
The book club decides to read only books by women authors and begin with a short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Then they read Frankenstein and question whether the monster is good or bad; they finish with The Left Hand of Darkness. No wonder the girls were bored, and confused! What a weird list of books/stories to read! No wonder they called the club Unbearable!
A few poignant moments when I almost loved CeeCee, and readers will probably like Adrienne and be stumped by Wallis’s “problems.” Jill is the most “normal” character of them all. Girls with mother problems will empathize with Adrienne.
Recommended grades 8-up. Some mature topics and talk. No details. The terms lesbian, slut and hermaphrodite are used in girls’ conversations. Not for younger readers.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I purchased this book for my library. Caution: I used Follett’s advice on grade level. Actually, I think grades 8 and up. Parents of middle school may not want to answer questions about hermaphrodites.